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Idaho Bringing Computer Science to Every High School

Legislative Change: HB 648 approved. On March 23, 2018, Idaho Governor Butch Otter signed a bill into law requiring all high schools to offer at least one computer science course. The Idaho legislature unanimously passed this bill.

33-1634. COMPUTER SCIENCE. Starting in fiscal year 2020, each school district, specially chartered district and public charter school serving students in grades 9 through 12 inclusive, or any combination thereof, shall make available to all students in grades 9 through 12 one (1) or more courses in computer science. Students must have the option of taking the course as part of their course schedule during normal instructional hours at the school in which the student is enrolled. Such courses may be offered through virtual education programs and online courses, traditional in-person courses or hybrid courses consisting of a combination of online and in-person instruction. Computer science courses must be aligned with the Idaho content standards for computer science.

IDoCode Leads to Huge Jump in High School Computer Scientists

High school students at a computer.

There has been a nationwide call to empower all American students from kindergarten through high school to learn computer science and be equipped with the computational thinking skills needed to be creators in the digital economy.

Our economy is rapidly shifting, and both educators and business leaders increasingly recognize that computer science is a new basic skill necessary for economic opportunity and social mobility. Computer science is applied in nearly all fields of human endeavor ranging from agriculture, commerce, transportation, medicine, arts, music and even social sciences. By taking computer science courses in high school, students are better prepared for college and for their future careers.

A Boise State University project called IDoCode, in collaboration with Idaho school districts, Idaho Technology Council, Idaho Digital Learning Academy (IDLA) and, has led to a remarkable increase in the number of Idaho high school students studying computer science.

Map of Idaho schools where teachers have received computer science training.

This map shows schools where teachers have received computer science training.

IDoCode trains teachers to offer high-quality computer science instruction and is critical in expanding access to computer science before college. Creation of the program was funded by a three-year, $1 million NSF Award to promote computer science education in high schools.

When the program launched in 2013, only three high schools in the Boise and West Ada school districts were offering computer science, with a total enrollment of around 60 students. None of the other school districts in the Treasure Valley area offered computer science courses.

By fall 2016, every high school in Boise and West Ada was offering computer science, with many offering multiple courses. There currently are more than 1,200 students taking computer science courses in these two school districts alone.

In 2014, the State Board of Education and House Education Committee approved a rule change allowing dual credit or AP computer science courses to count as core math or science credits. This provided incentive for more students to explore the field of computer science.

Boise State’s IDoCode program has led the effort to create programs for high school teachers and currently is working with 54 teachers. In addition, every school district in and around the Treasure Valley now has teachers who are trained, or in training with, the Boise State program, and most also are offering computer science courses.

Boise State is collaborating with the IDLA and to create online courses and training that can be expanded across the state, and with the University of Idaho to replicate the IDoCode program up north. Additional workshops via IDLA and have trained more than 300 elementary, 64 middle-school and 43 high school teachers.



National and Idaho Computer Science Teaching Standards

Significant work has taken place the past year at the national level and Idaho State to update the Computer Science Teaching Standards and Framework.  To learn more refer to the newly added CS Teaching Standards section on the IDoCode web page.

Breaking news about CS Endorsement!

A teacher with CS endorsement no  longer needs a Math/Science certification for their AP/Dual listed CS course to count for Math/Science credit! From the 2016-2017 Credential Assignment manual, refer to the “7400 Computer Science 6/12” Endorsement number.

The CTE endorsement “6155 Comp Sci/Info Tech 6/12” was recently added to the Idaho Career and Technical Education 2016-2017 Certified Staff Criteria – ISEE manual.

  • NOTE: For additional CTE information contact: Kristi Enger ( for additional CTE questions regarding teacher certifications.

Computing by Design – September 23, 2016

Computing by Design provides professional school counselors, administrators, and teachers  nationwide with information and resources to guide more — and more kinds of — students to explore computing education and careers.

Computing by Design Workshop Details

  • September 23, 2016
  • 8:30 am – 3:30 pm
  • Top of the Zions Bank – Idaho Room (8th and Main Boise)
  • Cost: Free

During the program, your school team will:

  • Explore computing hands-on!
  • Learn about employment prospects in this fast-growing career sector, and why employers want a large and diverse talent pool
  • Learn about changes in computer science education, including:
    • Local computer science teacher training initiatives that lead to more course offerings
    • What new courses are like, and how they count toward graduation and preparation for post-secondary pathways
    • Why computer science is a fundamental literacy, no matter what your students’ plans
  • Meet technology professionals, learn about their jobs and how they found their way into computing
  • Enjoy lunch and receive continuing education credit

Information and Reservations:

Need to know more? Contact:

CS Teacher Gathering – May 13, 2016

The Computer Science department at Boise State University welcomed 58 current and aspiring Idaho Computer Science Teachers and CS educational supporters to a workshop and dinner to share best practices, highlight recent progress, and to build CS educational relationships.

NOTE: Attendees are from the Boise State IDoCode program, region 3 teachers, current Computer Science teachers, past CS workshops participants, industry representatives and CS educational supporters.

Sponsored by a Google CS4HS grant.

We had three presentations, followed by open Q&A, and an update on Vallivue’s new CS program:


CID, Computer Science Partnering on Summer Coding Classes

Want to learn how to code, build your own mobile app or just hone your technology skills? The College of Innovation and Design and the Department of Computer Science are offering a “summer of technology,” bringing together students, industry professionals and anyone who thinks the summer is a perfect time to learn something new.

View the full “CID, Computer Science Partnering on Summer Coding Classes” article.

White House Recognizes Boise State Computer Science Efforts

Image of the IDoCode logo

Boise State University has been recognized by the White House for its effort to improve K-12 computer science teaching. The university’s IDoCode program, in collaboration with the College of Innovation and Design, is developing a CS badge for teachers.  View the full “White House Recognizes Boise State Computer Science Efforts” article.


New federal initiative: “CS for All”

Image of the CS10K Community logo

Members of the CS10K Community,

I am pleased (really, really pleased that is) to let you know that today President Obama announced a new initiative, called CS for All, that aims to give all U.S. students the chance to learn computer science (CS) in school! Watch the launch from the Computer Science for All webpage.

It calls for new funding—$4 billion in his forthcoming budget—and includes a $120 million commitment from already existing funding at NSF. It specifically calls out CS10K!! It also mentions the great work of many private organizations and partners. View the Computer Science for All webpage and see the Fact Sheet.

See more about NSF’s CS for All efforts (and ignoring the broken links at the bottom, NSF CS is for All Students webpage).

This has gotten tons of press already this morning. CS Ed has arrived!!!

This milestone is due, in large part, to the amazing community of teachers, faculty, and researchers who have put so much of their time and energy into making ECS and CSP courses and course materials accessible and engaging for everyone.

Thank you for all that you’ve done!!!

Jan Cuny

Computer Science Bill in the 2016 Idaho Legislature!

The House Education Committee has introduce the bill H0379: Computer Science initiative for public schools that will support computer science in high schools. The Governor has proposed significant funding to support the bill with funding for teachers, equipment etc. Please check out the bill, support it and tell people about it!